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Know What You’re About

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

Last week, we unveiled our recipe for building trust through communications in six steps. Be sure to check it out if you want a refresher, especially if you’re putting together work plans for 2023 – it can be a powerful gut-check to ensure you’re going in the right direction!

Today, we’ll dive deeper into each of the first of those six steps: Know what you’re about.

Yes, we know it’s not great to end a statement with a preposition. But entertain for a moment the possibility that this particular About means more than usual:

  • Your “About” is your central purpose.

  • It encompasses your brand but transcends it.

  • It articulates your reason for being.

  • It’s the what and the why of your very existence.

Whether you’re a communicator for a business, public agency, nonprofit or advocacy group or you’re looking for a way to build your personal brand, your “About” needs to be well-defined and accurate.

Clarity will come easiest for a business, nonprofit and advocacy group; it gets muddier for personal brands and for public agencies, for surprisingly similar reasons: the sheer volume of values you uphold (manifested by services you provide as a public agency, or by interests you pursue as an individual) makes it hard to define a distinct purpose to communicate.

More on this in a future post, but for now, let’s explore how to Know What You’re About:

1. Be clear about your mission. What is your organization set up to deliver? If you can’t articulate your raison d’etre in a sentence or three, your capacity to build trust is already suffering.

2. Set priorities. Outline a vision for the future based on the product or service you provide, or about the specific initiative moving your organization forward right now.

3. Link your priorities to an underlying set of values. Then, make those values part of your culture. Show your audience how those values connect to your work. This might form a vision for the future that lifts the conversation into the realm of ideals, or it might be practical applications of great work “in the now.”

Clarifying your mission, setting priorities and establishing values is how you define what is true and what is not true about your “About.” And your “About” should form the foundation for every communication and most (if not all) of your operational work plans going forward.

Your “About” doesn’t have to be sexy. It doesn’t have to promise to change the world and pave the way for future generations. It just has to be true.

It also doesn’t have to be static – your vision and values will likely to grow and mature over time, even if your mission doesn’t. Just be sure to bring your audience along with you through the changes because, when done well, the change itself can engender even more trust.


Need help defining your “About?” Karapace Consulting works with organizations and leaders to craft mission and vision statements. We also advise clients on manifesting values through their work priorities. We’d love to hear from you! Contact us at the form below.

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